Tuesday, December 3

Postponing the Unpostponable

When the alarm went off yesterday at 6:30AM, I awoke in a state of anger.  Squinty eyed, looking around the room, closing my squinty eyes... I hated everything in that moment.

Fuck the following things:

* blogging

* working

* getting up

* moving

* the outside world

I just remained there for an eternity, which was actually no greater than three minutes.  Enough time to realize that I can't fight the inevitability of reality.  I got up, stepped around the dogs, fired up the computer and the coffee, and jumped back into normality.

Not sure where the negativity came from.  Perhaps it's a combination of the following things:

* Holidays.  This is not the best time to have my job.  Busy delivering a mix of corporate type gifts and actual important end-of-year shit.  Banal elevator conversations about shopping and football.

"Did you see the game yesterday?  I was exhausted by the time it was over."

* My injured toe

* The time of year.  Getting cold, dark, and just unfriendly.  Wears on one's spirit after a time.

* No more racing for quite some time in the near future and no clear picture as to what 2014 will be like.  I do better with some sort of focus.

Right now, focus has to be brought into the 2014 decision making process.  I've already had two big opportunities come my way for next year, and I think I will end up turning them both down.  Sad because once everyone finds out that I lost my "industry insider douchebag" status, I doubt these offers will continue.

Bird in the hand, but like a whole flock of them in the tree across the field on the other side of town.

It's just way too early for too many commitments. 

Take for example...


I vowed to do one or the other... instead of just another stage race.  More fun, less pressure, all douchey single speeders.  SSUSA is in Copper Harbor, Michigan.  As far as I can tell, it boasts more than 20 miles of incredible trails...

but I haven't been able to find much else about it.  Are there more trails?  How many miles do I need to justify the trip?  And speaking of the trip, is there a more remote place on the east coast in terms of travel?

Then there's SSWC in Anchorage, Alaska.  Can't say they're marketing the trails too hard, but there's this:

and this:

So there's that.

One is in July (SSWC), the other August (SSUSA).  SSUSA started registration a few days ago, and 158 out of 350 spots are gone already.  Shit or get off the pot time is nigh.

Either is a travel PITA, both will be a great time pretty and a new experience, neither one pulls at my heart more than the other.

Middle-aged, white single speeder problems.  I got ninety nine of them, and a Birtch is one.


1speed said...

If you want to see some of Copper Harbor, check out this ultra-sophisticated, hig-tech interactive trail map. It's in, like, 3-D and stuff.

Between the two, you should do SSUSA because of its singular focus on the U.S. of goddamn A. instead of all those other places we as myopic citizens don't care about. It's the patriotic duty of every American man, woman and child to choose SSUSA. So if you don't hate freedom, your decision is already made for you.

Anonymous said...

While I would not compare the U.P. to Alaska, it does have some really sweet trails and would most likely cost less to get to. There are plenty of trails right in Copper harbor + many other not far away. [see link]

Having said that, Copper Harbor is SMALL. It has one VERY small grocery/general store, 1 gas station (that takes cash only), 1 small but excellent brew pub, and a few restaurants with bars. It is (thankfully) void of any big box retailers and name restaurants (there are not fast food restaurants, no Sizzlers, etc., but who needs them?). Best to buy your food and alcohol in Calumet (or other town) and continue on to CH. Or bring everything you might need for the trip with you.

As I said before, CH is SMALL. Just check it out on Google Maps. I really dug it, but I am a pretty boring person who didn't mind riding lots of great trails and having an amazing lake view right outside my cabin. Not real sure how the town will cope with the influx of singlespeed chaos but from what I've seen it does just fine with the annual Fat Tire Fest (that's fat TIRE, not fat BIKE, ha!).

There are way less mosquitoes than what you would have experienced at the Lumberjack and probably less than you will would find in Alaska. The trails are also way more technical, rocky and many feature a number of wooden bridges and berms. Plus no grizzly bears. ha!

I wouldn't pass up a chance to go to Alaska to ride, so if your douche bag status allows, then go for it. But I've done up Copper Harbor twice and really dug it. Beautiful stuff in the U.P. But of course I was traveling 7 hours from central Mich. not from NC.

I did a two part piece on Copper Harbor in XXC Magazine's No. 13 and 14. Not sure if that would help at all. Probably not.

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

What about Snake Creek Gap in Jan? it's not much farther than big frog.

dicky said...


I have ten reasons to not do it.

Lazy is four of them.

Junk said...

Round trip flights into Houghton don't look bad. After shipping the bike and round trip flight I bet you'd be burning the same $$ as trying to drive to Ishtar. Plus where else can an Ohioan take a dump in Michigan and not get arrested?